As the glitz and glamour of ballroom returns to our screens and the excitement is palpable for the first Strictly Come Dancing live show of 2021.
However, each new series comes with new tabloid speculation as to whether the infamous “Strictly curse” shall hit the latest celebrity dance recruits again.
Over the past 17 years, there have been a number of celebrities and their dance partners who been (or at least rumoured to have been) struck by the so-called “curse” including:
- Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole
- Matt Di Angelo and Flavia Cacace
- Ricky Whittle and Natalie Lowe
- Joe Calzaghe and Kristina Rihanoff,
- Ben Cohen and Kristina Rihanoff,
- Seann Walsh and Katya Jones,
- Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev,
- Georgia May Foote and Giovanni Pernice,
- Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton,
- Joe Sugg and Dianne Buswell
Relationship and wellness coach, Orion Talmay, from Orion’s Method, delves into why the “Strictly Curse” is so prevalent and, on a brighter note, why singletons in the show may spark romantic connections while partnered up on the dancefloor.
“Anyone who’s ever had a so-called ‘work wife’ or ‘work husband’ will understand how quickly bonds can be formed between people who spend a lot of time together in a relatively close space,” she told Indy100.
Orion describes the training for Strictly as a “breeding ground” for this kind of affection. “Long, gruelling hours spent together, then performing together on a national stage, makes for an intense experience.”
Being a part of one of the UK’s biggest shows and getting thrust into the spotlight by performing every Saturday night will only make the couple’s relationship stronger, according to Orion.
“With the eyes of the country — and, in particular, the nation’s press — on them, the Strictly couples will likely feel isolated. This only strengthens their bond, looking to one another for support during the competition.
She also describes how the simple act of dancing can also be “a powerful aphrodisiac.”
“Physical touch between people encourages the body to produce oxytocin, also known as the ‘bonding hormone.’ This stimulates the production of other mood-elevating hormones such as serotonin and dopamine — in short, dancing with someone makes you feel good.
Orion added: “Between the long hours, close quarters, and prolonged close physical contact, it’s almost inevitable that sparks will fly.
Meanwhile, the relationship and wellness coach explained how the other halves at home are affected if the Strictly Curse does strike.
“Being cheated on is a deeply unpleasant experience, even traumatic,” Orion said. “It can colour future relationships, making you reluctant to trust and preventing you from forming a fulfilling bond with another.
“But it is possible to move past this. Avoid spending too much time wallowing. This is a state of stasis, and while it’s fine to have a period of mourning, you won’t move forward.
Orion believes “making plans on building a life that works for you” is the best way to get over this kind of heartbreak and betrayal.
“Take up a new hobby, go on holiday, meet new people — distract your mind with change. Getting over a betrayal begins with self-kindness, so do the things that make you happy.
However, speaking to someone about this is also just as crucial.
“Being cheated on is a trauma, and should be treated with the sensitivity and understanding it deserves,” said Orion. “The perspective of an independent third party helps break you out of negative thought loops, changing your own perspective of your situation and working through your grief.”
Though it is important to note that affairs are not the only thing to come out of the show, and Orion believes for those singleton Strictly couples, “the competition offers an opportunity to spark a rewarding, meaningful relationship with real depth.”
“Dancing with a partner requires strong, clear communication. It requires an understanding of one another, an intuitive bond that doesn’t need words to be expressed.
“This makes for a strong foundation for a relationship. An understanding and appreciation of one another in this way builds empathy, mitigating conflict and encouraging shared goal resolution — essential in any relationship,” she concludes.
The first live show of this year’s Strictly Come Dancing airs on Saturday 25th September at 7pm on BBC One.
To learn more about Orion’s relationship and wellness coaching, visit her website.